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Work Hard

Rest Harder

Lizzie Ellis

NASM-CPT, CF-L1, Pn1 You know those people who say they fall asleep as soon glazed Meche’s donut? Yeah, me too. That’s because your as their head hits the pillow? Yeah, I am not one of those hunger-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin get out of people. As an adolescent and into my college years I strugwhack when you don’t sleep and, remember, appropriate gled to fall asleep at bedtime. While this problem is not as levels of cortisol helps regulate blood sugar. So you wake great for me now and I do have weeks and days where I sleep up, eat that donut- or two- drink a giant triple espresso latte, soundly and restoratively, there are still weeks and days I do crash a couple hours later, eat more refined carbohydrates not and I suffer for it. and more coffee, grind through your stressful workday, sufUnfortunately, we live in a society that doesn’t value sleep fer through your workout feeling sluggish and slow or skip it and rest. Everywhere you look you’re being told to work all together, drink a glass of wine-or two- with dinner (again, harder, hustle more and have endless ambition and if you a meal likely too high in refined carbohydrates and low in don’t you’re somehow a failure. Ever heard the expression micronutrients) then you try to go to sleep. You probably “I’ll sleep when I’m dead?” If you take that approach you feel exhausted and perhaps the wine helps you fall asleep will likely find yourself in the grave earlier than you expect. (pass out), but you likely wake-up a few hours later wide I get it. You want to get the most out of life and all it has awake and unable to go back to sleep. When that alarm goes to offer and sleeping might feel like a waste of time. Here’s off in the morning it’s like deja vu. the thing- a lot of really important stuff happens to This is no way to live. Chronic lack of sleep, poor your body and brain while you sleep. Your body nutrition and sub-optimal exercise will set you up is repairing itself, your brain is recharging for weight gain and all the problems that come Unfortunately, and growth hormones are being released. with it, a compromised immune system, Chronic lack of sleep is linked to a host of chronic inflammation (which is linked to a we live in a health issues from neurodegenerative dislot of nasty stuff including cancer), unbalsociety that doesn’t anced hormone levels and general unhappieases like Alzheimers and lifestyle related diseases like obesity and heart disease. ness. So, yeah, sleep is pretty important. value sleep and Exercise/stress, nutrition and sleep all I realize we all have busy lives and derest. work together in a cycle and that cycle can be manding jobs, some of us have kids or babies a vicious one if any part is out of whack. When and some people do shift work which is a you exercise or in any time of stress your body whole other beast. There will be times in your life produces cortisol. This hormone helps the body that are more stressful than others like a new baby or stay in homeostasis by regulating or influencing functions a big work deadline and some sleep deprivation may be a like immune response, inflammation, blood sugar, blood necessary evil, but this shouldn’t become the norm. Luckily, pressure and central nervous system activation. If you train there are steps you can take to prioritize the quality of sleep at a high level or experience chronic stress due to work or life you are getting- even if it’s only 4-6 hours. situations you might be producing cortisol so often that your First, work on managing your stress. Whether that’s with body doesn’t have a chance to wind down. Ideally, cortisol meditation, yoga, reading, listening to music or catching peaks in the morning and decreases when it’s time to go to up with your spouse after a long day. As tempting as it is, bed. Chronic high cortisol can disrupt sleep, which then can try to avoid using alcohol to relax. While it might make you further contribute to adrenal fatigue. feel sleepy, alcohol actually disrupts deep, restorative sleep. You see where this is going right? The combination of Keep in mind too, exercise is technically a stressor. While adrenal fatigue due to chronic stress, exacerbated by lack of it is generally very beneficial, over exercising coupled with quality sleep will likely impact your diet too. Ever woken up bad sleep and a bad diet is not so beneficial and can actuafter a night of tossing and turning craving a delicious hot ally make matters worse. People who train at a high level 22

Active Acadiana July 2017  

Acadiana's only fitness and recreational activity publication.

Active Acadiana July 2017  

Acadiana's only fitness and recreational activity publication.

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